A woman of spirit and joyfulness left our presence on June 26. Susan Alice Diehl born in Des Moines on September 24, 1947, to Albert Parsons and Miriam Crawford Diehl will be remembered as a woman with determination to make her world of family, friends, and community a better place. Married to the love of her life, Howard Mosena, in Burlington on May 22, 1993, they shared many interests to include the music of the Blues, historic preservation, travel and for Susan a passion for education, community theater and service.
A highly educated woman, Sue went from the playground swings of Hubbell Grade School in Des Moines to graduate from Roosevelt High School and then enter Drake University. Graduating with a BS in Education and enjoying membership in Kappa Kappa Gamma, she went on to the University of Iowa attaining her Masters in English. But…teaching did not become her focus.
The law found her and her passion for serving those in need. She returned to Drake University where she earned her Juris Doctor with licensing in Illinois and Iowa. Locating in Burlington in 1983 she found her mettle as a legal aid lawyer and Public Defender earning the respect of her peers in both Henry and Des Moines counties.
Yet…not completely satisfied being on the court’s stage, she readily jumped into Players Workshop and whether it was the costume shop or being thrilled with acting, she relished directing. Her proudest accomplishment occurred in directing the play In the Matter of Ralph a Black Man…twice.
The Heritage Trust also captured her heart. Their focus on preserving Burlington’s heritage of architecture led her and Howard to hundreds of Saturday hours at Preservation Station which she chaired as well as working on annual home tours.
Continuing her respect for life-long learning, Susan served two terms as a Trustee of Southeastern Community College which continued her mission of tireless service. For a time, she served as president of the Board of Directors for Community Action of Southeast Iowa.
High spirited whose face always held a smile, Susan was diagnosed with aphasic Alzheimer’s several years ago and tried her best to “keep on keeping on” until it was no longer possible. Support from the staff of Bickford Cottage allowed her a restful and comfortable environment where her beloved husband, close family, and friends…. and pooch Sassy could visit.
She is survived by her husband, brothers John Diehl and wife Karyn, Jim Diehl and husband Rob Kuhr; sister-in-law Joyce Pohlmeier, sister-in-law Pamela Roberts; nieces Alisa Diehl, Andrea Diehl, nephew Justin Diehl; faithful companion Sassy and cuz/sis Babs Mc Roberts. Howard’s daughters and their children, Jennifer Spears (Cameron, Noah, Tyler, K J); Alyssa Mosena ( Jackson, Jonathan); nephew Aaron and wife Carrie (Kyle, Haley). She was preceded in death by her brother Thomas Diehl, parents, grandparents and loved aunts, uncles, cousins.
Contributions for programs she loved: Players Workshop, Heritage Trust, and Southeastern Community College Foundation would be welcomed.
There will be a Memorial Service for Susan Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship in Burlington, IA on Saturday, July 24, at 3:00PM.